Waters, Johns in singles; Waters and Johns in mixed to close out 2023

Waters, Johns in singles; Waters and Johns in mixed to close out 2023

SAN CLEMENTE, CA - The year's first and last Championship Sundays on the PPA Tour were somewhat unsurprisingly similar: they both saw Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns capture Triple Crowns.

The day began with the world No. 1s claiming gold medals in women’s doubles and men’s doubles.

Waters then took on an all too familiar opponent in Catherine Parenteau in her second match of the day.

These two have had their fair share of epic encounters throughout this year, but Sunday’s match was much tamer, and Waters emerged with an 11-7, 11-1 win.

For as much as Waters and Parenteau have played in 2023—whether with each other in women’s doubles or against each other in singles—Waters was grateful to end the season competing against her doubles partner.

“It’s really special,” she shared. “We’ve battled it out all year and had some really close matches, so to get to play another final to close out the year was just icing on the cake.

Johns took on Christian Alshon in their second matchup in San Clemente, and just like their group play match, the final went three games.

Alshon looked like he might be able to pull out his third comeback win of the event when he clinched game two after dropping the first, but Johns was too solid in the big moments as he claimed an 11-3, 9-11, 13-11 victory for his 11th PPA singles gold medal on the year.

The last pro match of the day—and the year—pit Waters and Johns against siblings JW and Jorja Johnson in the mixed doubles final.

The Johnsons were one of only two teams to beat Waters and Johns in mixed this year and pushed them to four games at Pictona a few weeks ago, but the top seeds wasted no time clinching their season-ending Triple Crowns with an 11-1, 11-3, 11-4 victory.

Though 2023 pro competition is finished for Waters, Johns has a shot at a Major League Pickleball title with the Chicago Slice. He’ll be competing at the MLP Season 2 playoffs beginning with a win-or-go-home match against Miami Pickleball Club on Monday in San Clemente.